“Sometimes you just don’t like a guy,’’ Busch said during the press conference for the Cup title contenders at the Lowes Miami Beach. “I never ran into Matt Kenseth. I don’t think Matt Kenseth ever ran into me. There is a respect factor out there on the race track and you can certainly do a better job sometimes when you’re around some of those guys that you may or may not necessarily like.
“As once a wise man told me, I think it was Chase Elliott, I race those how they race me.’’
The history between Busch and Keselowski is marked with controversial moments, crashes and frustrated feelings.
After some bumping in an Xfinity race at Bristol in 2010, Busch returned the favor and Keselowski wrecked.
Their rivalry intensified in 2012 when Busch wrecked after contact from Keselowski on the last lap at Watkins Glen.
A year later, Keselowski wrecked after contact from Busch in an Xfinity race at Kansas.
Busch hit the wall after contact from Keselowski at Bristol in 2016.
At the start of the Xfinity race in June, Busch spun after contact from Keselowski. Then at Watkins Glen this year, they both spun after Busch made an aggressive move through the inner loop.
At the start of the playoffs, Keselowski’s complained about Toyota’s dominance and went to Twitter to express his disappointment with NASCAR for allowing it to happen. Busch responded with a strong message to Keselowski.
Keselowski was more diplomatic about the feelings toward Busch.
“I haven’t really thought about it,’’ he said. “I think looking through this weekend there’s four of us up here on this stage and for probably both of us it’s not enough to beat each other, we’ve got to beat everyone to win the championship. From my perspective (it would be) a little bit foolish to get caught up with any one person. I do think that both of us are fortunate to have great cars, great teams and when you run up at the front a lot things are going to happen. I feel like where we’re at in the sport right now, we’re both going to be here for a long time to come.
“If you looked across the field, every one has had some run-ins with each other. Probably all four of us have probably run into each other through the course of our careers. That’s part of the fun of the sport as well.’’